Viewer: "Are you going to Summit Live"?
Me: "No, it's bullshit".
Events like these have always felt self-masturbatory. Especially at a conference venue. Conferences imply authority, but with live-streaming I'm not sure what anybody can claim to be the authority of exactly, yet. Nobody should be claiming anything from what I've seen put on display this week.
Summit Live for those that don't know, is the live-streaming event for those invested in live-streaming*, it's live-streamers, live-streaming about live-streaming. It shouldn't be too much harder to organise something than the word play at play, right? It's not a puppy convention with some individuals saying, "hey let's stream this to the world". It should be better presented than that.
It's my modest expectation to be able to watch a live streamed event by live streamers, and have it marketed adequately enough to an outside audience, creating that crucial, precious FOMO for when the next one comes around, in order to better build out the next event to an even better degree.
I'm not feeling anything.
After two years I find the Summit Live events aren't getting better, it's scandalous for two reasons (ignoring all other live-streams ever streamed before to the world in human history).
- I'm still watching presentations made available to me from someone's phone sitting in the audience. I understand that's the beauty of live-streaming as it's reactionary to an event. Conferences however aren't dramatic in the slightest, and as these apps develop, so should the manner in which video is streamed.
- Why is no one is sitting at the front streaming to at least hide the fact that nobody is turning up to listen? Who is charge of the room? Where are the backseat marketers and influencers saying this is okay? I would want to see a blossoming from a yearly event, not a drying out husk.
What you have then, is one of the best live-streamers, Josh Robert Thompson, (subjective I know, but definitely someone who brings more televisual experience to the event than anybody else, [this is why a woke JRT satirically examined the state of live-streaming in his talk]) and the day before you actually had the Community Manager of Periscope, presenting to not even half-filled conference rooms about upcoming new features; that on the whole are interesting, but who fuck is watching?
Honestly, a write-up on Medium might have been better use of Lili's time.
Periscope's @lilisalzberg addresses their community at #SummitLive -https://twitter.com/geoffgolberg/status/834925321543643137
The photo above doesn't inspire confidence for further Summit Lives. Especially when Periscope themselves don't even promote their own speaker via the official Periscope account with over 9 million follows. Clearly Periscope didn't regard it as important enough. I've seen tertiary characters at Star Trek conventions get more attention. Would Periscope want to attend again?
There has to be at least 101 marketeers at the event, right?
To the people staging this event, you're not creating any buzz that's reaching the casual viewer. I have a mixture of new and old people attending my scopes who are unaware of what Summit Live is. I'm doubting if you're able to reach enough casual viewers collectively through those attending scopers with their own individual fan base, that it creates a perception that there isn't much FOMO to be shared out.
Getting the word out generally for something like an event via live-streams seems to be a problem endemic to the platform though. Still.
I'm aware of the politics to some degree and qualitative aspects to who was talking and the price and so forth, but I want to just focus on my two issues; the dog-fooding with setting up a stream, and the discovery of live-streams as a casual viewer. Yes I'm aware I'm a prolific scoper, and I'm not really just a casual viewer, but pretend I am one.
I made no effort to get involved with anybody at the event, and I didn't bother to look up the info on the website. I knew about the event solely through word of mouth inside the Periscope platform. I can't say I tried hard to avoid it either. Further still, I found myself at a loss as to why this event is worthy of my time, as a live-streamer though I can't help but get annoyed for the platform as a whole when the most readily accessible live-streams are from audience members who just happen to be there.
These are the same audience members who by and large are going to get in the way of the subject at hand.
Periscope even featured a scope from San Francisco's Legion of Honor art Museum this week. Within 10 seconds of viewing, I realised the scoper is just part of the tour and is asking periscope viewers if they can hear the tour guide while he actually faces the scoper's portion of the crowd. No wonder it has an 18 second average view time.***
Why is this worthy of being featured? Even if it got better, will viewers see it through and give it a chance? We give movies (we paid money for) we think are bad, a chance.
People can be critical of me for having expectations, (and were critical in the scope I made) but my viewers have that opportunity to dismiss me in that way because I'm voicing my opinion on something that is lacking in general terms. The vast majority of Periscope viewers will simply just end the scope and move on to another one. The qualitative aspects I'm referring to are going to be judged no matter what, some of it with opinion, some with not giving a scope enough attention.
What's my investment in watching a stream if the person holding the phone is talking over the main speaker and/or engaging with the comments? It's amateurish and in my case, its only because I really wanted to watch JRT that I put up with it. It represents a kind of streaming ironically JRT is referring to. It shouldn't represent Summit Live, it's for viewers who don't know any better and don't realise there is an official feed.
Live-streaming it yourself seems like an after thought.
What's that you say? You DID live stream it yourself beyond the capabilities of someone simply holding a camera and pointing it in the general direction and the streams can be found (replays no) on summitlive.live?! Then why wasn't this promoted?
I learnt about the website while making a scope being critical of the event (in the same way here, but with more grunts, lost sentences and umm and ahhs). Once it was pointed out that what I asked for was available, it becomes a marketing problem. It shouldn't feel like an after thought. I can't even go to the website and catch up on past streams. I can on Periscope or Busker. So what's the deal with that?
Building on top of that, why is this web based? Is web traffic that much larger than the phone and tablets we're already using with which to view live-streams? Isn't this a contradiction of sorts when its live-streaming from mobile phones that created this growing new media in the first place? Shouldn't an event about live-streaming show to the world how live-streaming is done?
Never mind not going next time, I'm probably not watching.
* It's the event by default since there aren't any others.
** Fear Of Missing Out.
*** It could also just be a poor choice generally by the editors at Periscope.